Staten Island's Labor Club 

One of the oldest political clubs on Staten Island, DORC was re-founded by the late Skippy Pryor an employee of Governor Hugh Carey in the 1980s.  Skippy was President of the club until shortly before he passed away.   

 

His vision, to continue a Democratic poltiical club where the issues of working people on Staten Island are at the forefront of the discussion have continued under immediate President emeritus, Gary Lane (a former president of Local 3, Electricians) and our current President, Laura LoBianco Sword.  

We are proud to only endorse candidates that recognize the value of organized labor and will work to support and protect labor unions in our communities. 

 

As a part of our commitment to fully support the candidates we endorse, we formed and operate a PAC, Your Vote Counts NY. We hold candidate fundraisers at our own expense, ensuring all money raised is kept by the campaign and invested in electing pro-labor candidates.

About

Laura LoBianco Sword

President

Laura is a proud union member and city employee. She worked full time, attending law school at night, graduating summa cum laude and starting her career at a top 100 law firm before going into private practice and eventually joining the public sector.  She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party and as a board member of Central Family Life Center. She is an audit committee member and past Chair of the Board of Community Health Action. She has been active in the Democratic Party since 1991 and has experience as a campaign manager, field director, treasurer and volunteer on various state, city and federal elections.  She has served on the executive committee of the Party since 1997, and was previously its Deputy Law Chair and  Staten Island liaison to the New York Democratic Lawyer's Council . Laura lives in Westerleigh with her husband, Mike and their two teenage children, Devyn, a Sophomore at Franklin & Marshall college and Justin, a senior at Stuyvesant High School. 

Steven Schwall

Vice President 

Steve Schwall is a long time member of the Democratic County Committee, North Shore Democratic Club, Staten Island Democratic Club, and is currently treasurer of the Political Action Commitee "your vote Counts.  Steve is president of AOH division 3 and is keeps the club active in fundraising for Veterans and running or participating in food drives to help the hungry.  He is married 32 years to his beautiful wife Margaret and has 2 children, Matthew and Stephanie who both graduated from college and have earned their Master Degrees. Mathew is a manager at Power Producer Partners in Albany , and Stephanie is a teacher at Tottenville High School.

Steve believes that we need to stop dividing people by politics, race, gender etc. and find the common ground that makes us good people

Steve Higgins

President Emeritus

Steve is a life long Staten Islander, retired Department of Education employee and is married with 2 children and 5 grandchildren.  Steve has served as president of DORC and of the Young Democrats.  He was the Democratic Candidate for Borough President in 1997.   

Gary Lane

President Emeritus & Labor Chair

Gary Thomas Lane was born and raised on S.I.; he attended P.S. 21 and is a graduate of Port Richmond H.S.  Gary joined NYC DEP in 1981 as an electricians helper; he became an A journeyman with the NYC Dept. of Education in 1986.  In 1989 Gary became vice-Chairman of the I.B.E.W. Local 3 "A" City Division and it's Chairman in 1989, an elected position, he would go onto hold for the next 20 years.  He served as President of DORC for over a decade, leading and growing the Club into what it is today and making our Annual Dinner a success year after year.  


Both of Gary's parent's, Marie and Harold, were born and raised on S.I. North Shore; he has one brother, Jeff and all four were proud NYC workers.  Gary is married to Louise (nee Mayora) and he is the father of 3 (Gary Jr., Jason and Jennifer) and grandfather of 5 (Marissa, Michael, Jessica, Justin and Preston).  

Priscilla Marco

Recording Secretary 

Priscilla is currently a Field Representative for the Public Employees Federation, a NY state professional workers union, for the last 23 years, handling labor arbitrations, disciplinary matters and contract and
non-contract grievances and representing members before the Public Employee Relations Board. Prior to her employment at PEF, she was in the private practice of law, representing clients in Criminal and Family Law cases for 14 years. A life long NYC resident, she currently resides In Staten Island, where she has been the President of the Van Duzer Street Civic Association for the last 12 years, addressing quality of life concerns for residents
and businesses. She served as an appointed member of Community Board 1 for 10 years, addressing quality of life issues for North Shore Staten Island residents on land use and other issues. She is a member of the Staten Island Democratic County Committee, recording secretary for Staten Island
Democratic Organization of Richmond County (a local Democratic club) and has previously served as a Constituent Liaison to NY State Senator Diane Savino from 2004 to 2008. Priscilla is the mother of two daughters, both of whom are currently in graduate school.

Kathy Murphy

Communications Director & Membership Chair
Kathy is a retired educator who serves as both Recording Secretary and Membership Chair of DORC. She is also a member of the North Shore Dems and the Richmond County Democratic Committee. She is Mom to two daughters, Grandma to one boy, one girl, one dog, and one cat and  is the proud widow of S.I.'s longest-serving District Attorney.

Nicole Negron

Legal Counsel
Nicole Negron is an attorney, mom of 3, and the co-director of a nonprofit organization focused on civic and community engagement on Staten Island.

Nick Popolo

Member at Large
Nick has been active in the local Democratic party for over 25
years. Most of his political work has been focused on building the clubs and
supporting Democratic campaigns. In the mid-2000s, he transitioned from the
voter outreach part of campaigns to volunteering more time on campaign
finance and treasury compliance. Since then, he has been the treasurer for 15
candidates in 19 Staten Island and Brooklyn races. Most recently, he was the
Treasurer for Matt Titone's successful run for Surrogate and is now the
Treasurer for Brandon Patterson for Assembly. Primarily a creature of the clubs, he has been the President of both the Young Democrats (1999 to 2001), and the Staten Island Democratic Association (2007 to 2008). In 2009, he received the inaugural Skippy Pryor Young Democrat of the Year award from DORC. In 2018, he was elected to the executive board of DORC. Currently he is also the Treasurer of the Democratic Committee of Richmond County. He and his wife, Maryann Lauria, reside in Greenridge.

Carmen Cognetta 

Member at Large
Carmen Cognetta's career has been in public service. He has served as an Assistant DA for Richmond County and for the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Deputy Inspector General of the NYC Fire Department, Counsel to the NYC Council Committe on Sanitation and Solid Waste, Counsel to Congressman Michael McMahon and as a Family Court Judge. He was a Vice President of the Institute for Community Living one of the Non-Profits responsible for getting the homeless off the streets in the 90's. He has been involved in political campaigns since, at the age of 13, he gave out literature for the JFK presidential campaign.  He has served as treasurer of, and worked on, in various capacities, numerous Staten Island campaigns. He has served on the boards of many non-profits and currently is Vice President of the Community Resources Board of Directors. He is a US Air Force Veteran having served with the 91st Fighter Intercept Squadron.

Eric Storberg

Member at Large

Eric is a lifelong Staten Islander.  He graduated from Curtis High School, attended classes at Wagner College, Rutgers University and The College of Staten Island, graduating with a B.S. in Economics.  Professionally he is a Certified Financial Planner with Ameriprise Financial.  Eric is also an active member of the South Shore Rotary, having served as club president. He also served as District Governor of Rotary District 7230, who's area includes Staten Island, Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester and Bermuda.  He has also been board chair of the Staten Island AIDS Task Force as well as a board member of Staten Island Cares.  Politically Eric is a Democratic County Committee member as well as a past member of the North Shore Democratic Club. Eric is proud to be a long time member of the DORCs.

Sam Benedetto

Member at Large

Born and raised on Staten Island. I worked my first job at a florist at age thirteen where I learned the trade. Graduate of McKee Vocational Technical High School where I studied Architecture and Physics. As a young man I worked as a machinery mechanic and rigger for 11 years. I got married 25yrs ago to my wonderful wife in 1994. We’re the proud parents of three young men and a lovely young lady. I’m a long time county committee member for 16yrs. Former volunteer performing cat rescues trap and release and finding care and homes for hundreds of strays. Law enforcement officer of 22yrs and first responder on 9/11 working rescue recovery at the wtc and morgue for the months following. Licensed professional specialized security. Member of the Nypd 121st precinct community council executive board. Nypd community partner for the Westerleigh area. Certified baseball coach and former commissioner of 15yrs for Westerleigh little league. I served as Dorc’s Sgt at arms and membership chair.

Robert Olivari

Political Director

Bob Olivari has managed or advised candidates in over 50 campaigns for the state legislature, New York City Council,  Governor, Lieutenant Governor, New York City Mayor, U.S. Senate, Congress, state and city Comptoller, Attorney General, District Attorney and two Presidential campaigns. Mario Cuomo for Mayor Staten Island GOTV coordinator, for Governor co-managing or managing the Brooklyn General elections four times and managing Bill Murphy's four re-elections are among the campaigns Bob has derived the most satisfaction from. Bob was elected to office in three employee unions during a 37 year career in the New York State court system.

Dean Curry

Treasurer 

Retired International Banker. Joined the Club with then President James W. " Skippy" Pryor. Lifetime Staten Island resident; conservative Democrat, member Democratic County Committee. Member/officer of numerous Staten Island and national civic, PTA and cultural organizations. B.S. History and Political Science SUNY Brockport; MBA program, International Finance St. John's University. Married to Colette, three beautiful grandchildren. Classic car enthusiast.

Paul Casali

Sergeant at Arms

Paul is a co-founder and partner at Casali Keller Consulting, a national political consulting firm. Paul has worked on political campaigns on all levels throughout the country. In New York, he has worked on races for Mayor (Bill Thompson), State Senate (Diane Savino), District Attorney (Michael McMahon), as well as several Congressional, City Council and Assembly races. Additionally, Paul staffed presidential candidates in Florida and New Hampshire. Paul is also a professional actor and theatre director, and has performed in 49 of the 50 United States. Someday, he plans to perform in the last holdout - Alaska.

OUR LEADERSHIP

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